I went to the Reds game last night.
I haven't been to a game since June - two games in Cleveland. I haven't been to a game for several reasons, but when I said I wasn't going to a game while Patterson was on the team, I was serious. The Dunn trade solidified my desire to boycott.
But when someone gives you free tix in section 135, well...
I stopped watching the Reds, too, since the Dunn trade. I have hardly listened to any games in the past month. But when I found out I had some tickets, somehow, I became excited to go to the game. Perhaps my break had been long enough. I got up in the morning and put my Reds shirt on and was excited throughout the day. That first sighting of the stadium when entering the city from the highway felt like Opening Day. I enjoyed every tiny little detail of the game, from the way the ball gets tiny on a popup and then grows as gravity pulls it into a fielders glove to the red shine of the helmets under the stadium lights. I enjoyed that "by the numbers" thing they put up on the scoreboard that reminded me that Hal Morris once wore 23. I loved that crack of the bat.
It will all be gone soon.
Last night, the heartache was so bad I once had to fight back a tear. It's the heartache that comes from the death of a season, knowing that come Tuesday, I won't be able to see the Reds for half a year. The season may seem long, especially when your team plays itself out of the race in April. Yet that half a year of no Reds baseball is eternal, no matter how pitiful the team plays during the season.
Bob, sign Dunn in the off season. Get rid of Patterson. Make Barry Larkin the bench coach, Eric Davis the hitting coach, and Tom Browning the pitching coach. Get rid of Mark Berry. Find a catcher - if you have to trade Homer for Jared Saltamacchia, do it. Don't steal 2009 from us, too.